Treeleaf Zen

( Dogen’s Instructions for the Cook – XI )

Someone in our Sangha made a special request for me to jump back a bit, to a couple of lines I had passed over.  He likes the quote …

So, will do! Here it is, Fugen …

(and I’ll try not to make a ‘pot head’ joke)


During the day andthrough the night, whether things come and dwell in your mind or your mindturns and dwells on things, put yourself on a par with them and diligentlypursue the way. Prior to the third watch take stock of the next morning'stasks; after the third watch take charge of making the morning gruel. When thatday's gruel is finished, wash the pots, steam the rice, and prepare the soup.When soaking the rice for the midday meal, the cook should not leave thevicinity of the sink. Keep a sharp eye on everything, so as not to waste even asingle grain, and properly rinse out any foreign objects. Put the rice in thepots, light the fires, and steam it. Of old it was said, "When steamingrice, treat the pot as one's own head; when rinsing the rice, know that thewater is one's own lifeblood." When the steaming is done, collect the ricein bamboo baskets or rice tubs and place it on the table. Preparation ofvegetables, soup, and the like, should be done while the rice is being steamed.

From: Tenzo Kyokun - Instructions for the Cook by Eihei Dogen - Translated by Griffith Foulk

(remember: recording ends soon after the beginning bells;
a sitting time of 20 to 35 minutes is recommended)

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